Titanic is one of the most expensive films ever produced in American history, which had been reported to cost about $200 million. It brings to life the tragic sea accident that in April 15, 1912. It became one of the highlights in the life and career of director James Cameron. The irony of Cameron’s film “'Titanic” is that it has in its own right created an overreaching greatness that broke all blockbuster phenomena throughout the entire movie history. The film itself took the risk to gamble its stake on the visual splendor and technological achievement that truly made the viewing experience of the audience very extravagant. The director’s brazenness was seen in throughout the film as the audience remembered the grandeur and spectacle to make “'Titanic”' the most loved classic film of all time.
Cinematography and Editing
The editing shot that were used by the director to transcend from one scene to another is by using continuity editing. This type of editing can be seen in films when the director builds action that smoothly flows across the scenes without making harsh visual inconsistencies. Through continuity editing, the director is able to establish a sense of story for the viewers. This was shown throughout the film as the story unfolded before the audience from the time the characters boarded Titanic, until the time it finally sank in the sea. Another type of editing that was used by the director is fade, which is the visual transition between shots or scenes when they appeared on screen that gives a momentary pause or a brief interval that does not show any picture. The screen editor of the film fades one shot to black and then fades another shot in the next scene in order to indicate that there had been a change in time and place. There were several flashbacks in the film which showed the old Rose reminiscing her younger years when she was still Rose De Witt Bukater.
The entire editing of the film was more focused in the creation of an emotional truth. The director made sure that the aspects of retelling the story about the sinking were contained during the pre and post-production. However, the actual sinking of Titanic became less important as the story line evolved. The director made a clean cut because making an emphasis that Titanic was grand and powerful. As the director edited the film, he decided that the audience is more interested in the story of Rose rather than the research made by Brock Lovett.
Director James Cameron used different kinds of shots to complete the film. He used aerial shots, arc shots, close ups, medium shots, long shots and deep focus. The director was able to capture the majestic image of Titanic by using aerial shots throughout the film. Arc shots were seen when Rose and Jack were dancing as shown by the swirling movements of the camera that displayed the giddiness and euphoria that Rose felt to be with the happy crowd. The lighting was perfectly executed as the film’s lead stars captured the hearts of the audience as star-crossed lovers who fell in love on board the ship. The director was able to capture the emotions of the young lovers which made the audience to fall for them. The film’s appeal was directed towards young female viewers who are hopeless romantics which paved the way to make the movie break the blockbuster history. Even though the film ended tragically when the ship sank and the hero, Jack Dawson dies. The director’s close ups, mediums shots and long shots were became the crucial factor to make the tragedy come to life as more than 1,500 people who perished while on board the real Titanic. The character of the fallen hero Jack, played by Leonardo Di Caprio made him any girl’s first, best and lost love.
The lightning, graphics and visual effects were very grand and majestic that left the audience in awe. The film spent $200 million in budget to re-enact the scenes of what truly happened in the real Titanic and the director did not disappoint their expectations. The director did not have to make meaningless gimmicks in order to catch the attention of the audience. The visual effects and graphics presented the life drama that gave the audience a thrilling experience that lured them to see the beauty and heartbreak of young lovers. The graphics, lighting and visual effects were truly astonishing since the director used technological advances to give the film a spectacular illusion. The vision of a grand ship and the luxuries surrounding it made the audience intimately involved with every scene in the story. During the long climactic sequence of the sinking Titanic, there were accumulated the images of panicked characters, who perished on the deck of the vessel, amid the falling debris and gushes of icy water. The director was able to capture the expressions of drowning or freezing in the ocean using clever and meticulous close up shots and aerial shots. In effect, the beloved characters and other extras were able to execute genuine emotions of pain and loss to see loved ones perish. Titanic was able to give tribute to main characters of Jack and Rose which is within the standards of Hollywood.
The director also appealed to the emotions of the audience by showing scene towards the end where there was melancholy among the dignified musicians who continue to play even as the deck beneath them was about to sink. The stab of pain also goes out to the third class passengers who were prevented to go to the below deck to face their death. There was also an outrage felt towards the villain who rescued a child in order to secure his own place on the lifeboat. Such selfish act was frowned upon by the audience. The audience also sympathized over the captain who was selfless to decide to down with his ship. The emotions of shame and sympathy were felt by the audience against the ship crew who refused to return to rescue other passengers. It was a sad scene to see the passengers who were left bobbing in the ocean and fought for their dear lives.
The director was able to succeed in working his magic to connect the young lovers, portrayed by Leonardo Di Caprio and Kate Winslet to give the captivating details of the love story on board the vessel. The romantic shots gave the female audience sheer delight to see that even star-crossed lovers get a chance at love even for a brief moment.
Music and Sound
The soundtrack album of the film was very evocative since the songs were written by a highly acclaimed composer in the person of James Horner. The singer who was chosen to sing the song “My Heart Will Go On” was Celine Dion, which perfectly blended with the story line.
The narration of the story was well-executed which gave stability to the story. The narration, coupled with the superb acting of the cast gave the film is phenomenal success which made it the greatest movie of all time. The story was narrated by the character of the old Rose, and the great strength of her portrayal of in her life story against the humongous disaster of the doomed vessel’s final hours was explicitly told. The sight of the massive vessel which broke, snapped and finally sank beneath the waves of the ocean is a pure spectacular to be seen on screen. The tragedy in the film is not the actual sinking of the doomed ship, but rather the loss of human lives who met their inevitable end.Plot of the Story
The story started in the year 1996, when then treasure hunter Brock Lovett and the rest of his crew boarded the Keldysh vessel to conduct a research study on the shipwreck of RMS Titanic. Lovett and his team were in search for a necklace which is made of a very extraordinary diamond called the “Heart of the Ocean”. While rummaging through the remnants of the ship, the came across safety deposit box and inside it is a sketch of a young woman who wore the “Heart of the Ocean” necklace that was dated some time on April 14, 1912. The said date was the same day when the RMS Titanic stumbled upon an iceberg. The team discovered that the woman in the sketch is Rose Dawson Calvert, and she was invited to board the ship and narrate to Lovett her story while she was on board RMS Titanic.
The flashback started in 1912 in Southampton when Rose was just seventeen years old, together with her fiance, Cal Hockley, went onboard RMS Titanic as first-class passengers. Rose was accompanied by her mother Ruth while they board the ship. Since the family of Rose had been experiencing financial problems, her mother Ruth arranged the marriage of Rose to Cal to resolve the family’s financial woes. Rose was not happy with her engagement to Cal that she decided to jump from the stern of the ship. It was Jack Dawson, who saved her life by convincing her not to jump. Jack was a poor artist who was able to save the life of Rose. As a sign of gratitude, Cal invited Jack for a first class dinner since he deserved a reward for saving Rose. Jack and Rose initially clicked and they decided to join a party in third class. It was there that Rose realized that she enjoyed her time with Jack and that they had a connection. Due to their blossoming friendship, Rose took Jack to her room and asked him to draw a sketch of her while she posed nude and wearing only the Heart of the Ocean necklace that Cal gave her during their engagement. Rose and Jack decided to have sex inside the automobile that was kept in the cargo. It was also that time that the officers witnessed the collision of the ship with an iceberg. Cal discovered the nude sketch of Rose and Cal’s his butler agreed to put the Heart of the Ocean necklace in the pocket of Jack who was later accused of theft. After Jack was arrested and handcuffed to the vessel’s pipe, Cal placed the necklace inside the pocket of his coat. As the Titanic sank, Rose left Cal and her mother, who have safely boarded a lifeboat in order to find Jack and rescue him. As the boat was being lowered, Rose jumped back on board to look for Jack. Cal used the pistol of his butler to chase and Jack and Rose. It was also then that Cal realized that inside the coat the he gave to Rose was the Heart of the Ocean necklace. As the lovers returned to the vessel’s deck, Titanic broke in half. Jack helped Rose towards a wooden panel to keep her afloat. Jack died after, but Rose was saved. Rose was able to survive and went to New York with a new name Rose Dawson to hide from Cal. When Lovett heard the story of Rose, he decided to stop his search. When Rose was left alone on the stern of the ship, she took out the Heart of the Ocean, which was with her for so many years and dropped it into the sea or in the exact location of the wreck site. As the film ends, there were series of photos that were taken on the top of her dresser that showed her as a free woman and enjoyed her life adventure. In the end, Rose died in her sleep and she was shown to be reunited with Jack in heaven as they met at the grand staircase of Titanic, as all those passengers who perished on board the ship applauded their reunion.
Order and Duration
The order and the duration of the story were well-paced. The story unfolds as the character of Rose tells the story of how Titanic sank and how the beautiful love story of Jack and Rose from start to end. As the ship sank, there were also other characters, which made significant portrayals such as the images of a weeping elderly couple who embraced each other on their bed while waiting for death to arrive as their cabin fills with water. The director made use of emotions in order to capture the hearts of the audience such as the scene where a mother read to her children to a bedtime story while they await for their death. It was a showing of a small gift of love and comfort before they all die inside the ship. The emotional scenes became effectively to draw the audience to feel melancholic as the film ended.
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